What are solar panels and how do they work?
Solar panels are composed of silicon glass wires and silicon tubes which convert sunlight into electrical energy. Some of the most important components of an individual solar panel are the photovoltaic (PV) cells. When light energy hits the solar panel, it excites electrons in the PV cells, causing them to move and creating a flow of electricity. Residential homes typically require 60 cell panels, which are about 40 inches wide and 66 inches long and are installed on the home’s rooftop.
Solar panels are an eco-friendly, cost-effective energy solution for any home. Especially in a place nicknamed the “sunshine state” solar panels are a no-brainer! Tampa sees an average of 246 sunny days per year, so why not harness that energy and run your home on solar power? A solar power system is a low-cost investment that can save you money on your electric bill by generating power during the day when it’s sunny and artificial lighting is unnecessary, plus they’re good for the environment. It’s a win-win!
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What are the different types of solar systems you can get for your home in Tampa Florida?
There are 2 main types of solar power systems to consider before narrowing down which panels are right for your home. Grid-tied systems have generally been the most popular as they’re the cheapest type of solar system, provide the quickest payback, and are simply connected to the power grid in your area. The downside is that if the power grid is down, you no longer have access to power.
Hybrid solar systems include adding backup solar batteries to the solar power system that are still connected to the power grid but provide backup power when the grid is down. While Tampa gets 246 sunny days each year, the city is also located in “hurricane alley”, which means that losing power from storms is a likely occurrence. Adding a backup battery to your solar panel system ensures that you’re not solely reliant on the power grid to access electricity. A battery system provides your home with power during the direst times, which can make a huge difference for any Floridian during storm season.
What should you consider when choosing solar panels to install at your home in Florida?
Panel size, cost per watt, and cell type are some of the key considerations when choosing solar panels for your home. 60-cell panels are generally the appropriate size for residential properties, but for homes with ample roof space 72-cell panels may be worth considering since larger-cell solar panels often have a lower cost per watt. 72-cell panels are 12 inches longer than 60-cell panels, but they’re designed with the same width making them a great option for homes with more roof space.
When comparing solar panel options cost per watt is important to consider. It can be calculated by dividing the total cost of the system you’re considering purchasing by the watt-capacity. Low cost per watt systems will give you more savings on the front end. However, you might find that you want to go with higher-wattage panels since it will not take as many solar panel units overall.
Choosing between monocrystalline solar panels and polycrystalline solar panels is another decision to make. Monocrystalline solar systems are typically the more efficient solar panels, whereas polycrystalline cells are often less expensive.
The other core metrics to consider when choosing solar panels are efficiency, warranty, price, and performance.
The most efficient solar panels convert sunshine into electricity at a quicker rate. Given the same weather conditions, a higher-efficiency panel produces more energy than a lower-efficiency panel of the same size. A more efficient solar energy system means having the best solar panels.
Performance refers to the temperature coefficient. This indicates how well a solar panel can handle less-than-ideal conditions. The temperature coefficient tells you how greatly your panel’s performance will change during especially hot days. For each degree above 77 F, a solar panel’s electricity production will decrease. The lower the temperature coefficient the better!
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What are the best solar panels for your home in 2023?
Here is our roundup of the best solar panels for your home 2023!
Offering several lines of solar panels for homes, JA’s JAM54S30-390 panels reach an efficiency high of 21.5% and come with a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year linear output warranty. Their solar panels have 11BB Perc cells and have great performance in terms of shading loss and temperature coefficient, and the cell half-cutting technology effectively reduces hot spots of high-power components.
Offering several lines of solar panels for homes using both monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells, including All-Black, Ku, and BiKu, Canadian Solar’s panels range in efficiency from 15.88% – 20.6%, with an up to 15-year warranty. Cost per watt is between $2.70 to $3.20, and energy coefficients of -0.41 to -0.35%.
Hanwha Q cells are known for their low prices, and aesthetically pleasing minimal design. Boasting an up to 25-year warranty, Q Cells are comprised of monocrystalline cells and cost between $2.34 – $3.16/W, range in efficiency from 17.4% to 21.4%, and have an energy coefficient of.-0.39 to -0.34
Hyundai are known solar panel manufacturers that offer several lines of solar panels for residential use including their HG, HI, RI, and PI series’, all with a 12-year warranty. Using monocrystalline cells, their panels range in efficiency from 18.1& to 20.3%, cost $2.50 to $3.56/W, and have an energy coefficient of -0.42 to -0.35.
Efficiency by Type of Solar Panels
The efficiency rates of solar panels can vary depending on the type and quality of the panel used. Currently, monocrystalline solar panels are considered the most efficient and cost-effective option for solar energy systems. These panels are made from single silicon crystals and are known for their high conversion rates, meaning they are able to convert a larger percentage of the sunlight they receive into usable electricity.
On the other hand, polycrystalline or thick film solar panels may be a better choice if your property has a larger roof area available for installation. These panels are made from multiple silicon crystals and are generally less efficient than monocrystalline panels. However, they are typically less expensive to produce and can still provide a significant amount of energy output.
It’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type of solar panel when choosing a system for your property. Factors such as available space, budget, and energy needs should all be taken into account. Additionally, it’s recommended to consult with a professional solar installer to determine which type of solar panel system would best suit your specific situation.
What is the average cost of solar panels in Florida?
The average price of solar panels is $3 per watt, which adds up to roughly $45,000 for a 15 kW system (the average residential size). Rebates offered by local authorities can cover as much as 60% of the installation costs though, and good news! Florida has one of the lowest average costs for solar panel systems in the U.S. You’ll also love your lower monthly energy bills.
Due to the current federal investment tax credit (ITC) available to Florida residents, along with additional state and municipal tax incentives, we recommend purchasing your system outright! Due to the recent Inflation Reduction Act, the ITC is worth 30% of the solar system value until 12/31/2032! Then the credit will start to decline in value, dropping to 22% by 2034. Taking advantage of these tax credits can make the return on your investment all the better, so it’s a great time to invest in a home solar panel system.
Solar Panel Installation in Tampa
We hope you feel better equipped to find the right solar panels for your home! Don’t hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable and passionate team here at SEM Power. We’ve been bringing solar power to the Tampa Bay area since 2009, and look forward to helping you find the perfect solar energy system for your home.
If you are going solar for your home, it is absolutely worth the investment to choose the best equipment possible. To recoup your investment you will need your panels to last long term!
Fill out our free solar installation quote on our website, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours with the info you need to start your solar powered home journey!